French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that Russia could not be allowed to win the war in Ukraine, that Western powers would support Kyiv for as long as necessary and were ready to ramp up efforts to target Russian energy exports.
Speaking at the end of a summit of the world’s Group of Seven countries, Macron told a news conference it was clear that Moscow now had the sole objective of trying to force Ukraine to surrender.
“I really hope that the end [of the conflict] can be achieved by the end of the year, with a certainty and a desire, which is that Russia cannot and must not win,” Macron said.
Firefighters and soldiers searched on Tuesday for survivors in the rubble of a Ukrainian shopping mall, where authorities said 36 people were missing after a Russian missile strike that had killed at least 18.
Macron said that such acts showed that further sanctions were needed and that the G7 would continue to intensify military support for Ukraine to defend itself. He repeated that those who had committed war crimes needed to be held accountable.
“Our support for Ukraine and our sanctions against Russia will continue for as long as is necessary and with the necessary intensity in the coming days and weeks,” he said.
Macron has been criticized in the past for his stance towards Russia, but on Tuesday appeared determined to fully align himself with other G7 leaders. He said that at an upcoming NATO summit in Madrid on Wednesday, the alliance should send a message of “strength and unity.”
As part of efforts to ramp up pressure on Russia, Macron said he backed the idea of an oil and gas price cap, including a US proposal to cap Russian oil, but said it needed to be studied and broadened to include an “alliance” of buyers to define the cap and make it effective.
He said a gas price cap, which Italy has pushed for, appeared easier to implement, adding that the countries needed to band together to put an end to wild speculation.
“We have systems and markets that are deregulated because of the war, we have people who have been speculating because of the war and today we have a lot of people who are making money from the war,” he said. “We call that war profiteering.”
Macron added that it was “crucial” to free up space in the next few weeks before the next grain harvest in Ukraine takes place and that UN talks with Russia, Ukraine and Turkey to open up a sea route from Odesa were ongoing.